Parinoia Vaccine

Trip Start Nov 03, 2011
Trip End Nov 11, 2011

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Flag of United States  , Florida
Thursday, October 20, 2011

When we booked this trip we researched what vaccines were required to go to Kenya. Not wanting to put anything more into our bodies than we had to we decided that since it wasn't required for those traveling from the US to Kenya to get a Yellow Fever Vaccine we wouldn't risk the side effects. At the trip approached more and more started to cause anxiety.

We really have never had any anxiety triggered by travel until things really went wrong with the Machu Picchu trip. That is still so fresh in our memory that it somehow creates this fear that if it can go wrong it will. Even just A few months ago we took a short 4 day cruise to relax. When we got back there was a message on our phone that my Grandmother was in the hospital. It just seems that we can't travel without something happening either where we are traveling or at home. Even with all the stuff I have tried to keep a positive attitude. Still those things have an effect on how you make decisions. 

After our flight was canceled on the 3rd for this vacation and we had to do all the last minute re bookings Kenya decided to invade Somalia and the Somalian Rebels made a threat of terrorist attacks on Nairobi and Mombasa and anything to disrupt the tourist industry. Normally our view on news reports is that they sensationalize for better ratings. When Florida was suffering from the hurricanes of 2004 they made it sound like we had been wiped off the face of the planet. All the while Disney only closed one day out of all of that and tourist were still enjoying everything as nothing had happened. Yet there is that little voice inside me that encouraged me to investigate things further. 

It was the requirements for the Yellow Fever Vaccine that kept worrying me. Kenya only requires the Yellow Fever Vaccine if you have visited another East African country before entering Kenya. As someone that travels quite often I read this as actually visiting yet we have the change of planes in Ethiopia... As I dug further I started to find that some countries consider in transit as a visit to the country. Some don't. On forums I found those that said that even though they were just in transit from Ethiopia they were still asked for their yellow fever certificate in Kenya when they arrived. Others said they were never asked. Many had the same opinion that I did that if you were not leaving the airport you were not visiting Ethiopia. When you have researched about the disease you find out that it only transmits through blood, mosquito's. Addis Ababa isn't really a high risk area and the likelihood of a mosquito getting you in the airport would be random and I certainly wasn't planning on sharing any needles with anyone there. Still the fuzziness about if we might have trouble in immigration really haunted me.

In fact it ate at me long enough that I called the CDC. If anyone should have an answer it would be them. Guess what they weren't sure if Kenya considered in transit flights as visiting the country. So even the CDC wasn't sure.

Nairobi is known as a place where corruption is present. I finally decided that might be the mitigating factor. If we run into an immigration officer that decides to shake us down for a bribe due to not having a yellow fever certificate it could really put a damper on our trip. Not to mention with the threats to tourism in Kenya we might end up stuck there longer than we wanted or get stuck in Ethiopia on the way back and not be able to leave the airport due to our lack of YF vaccine.  

I got on the phone yesterday and called a travel clinic near us and made an appointment for the YF vaccine. I was really nervous that they wouldn't be able to get us in for a week. That would make it too late for it to take effect. It is supposed to be 10 days before travel. I have been beating myself up for waiting so late to change my mind on this one. It was just looking like what could go wrong would go wrong and I didn't want to push my luck.

 I can't believe how easy and smooth it was. We were able to make the appointment for today at 2. By 2;20 we were on the road back home. It was pretty expensive and that hurt more than the injection itself but I figure it is good for 10 years and we might be going to a YF area again in those 10 years. 

I am hoping that we are now completely ready for this trip to Kenya.
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